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For the mirror universe counterpart, please see Malcolm Reed (mirror).
"Malcolm can be a tough man to get to know, I'll grant you that."
– Charles Tucker III, 2153 ("Harbinger")

Lieutenant Malcolm Reed was a 22nd century Human Starfleet officer who served as armory officer on board Enterprise NX-01 under the command of Captain Jonathan Archer.

Early life and family[]

Stuart Reed

Malcolm's father, Stuart Reed

Malcolm Reed was born on September 2, in the early 22nd century, into an English family with a strong naval tradition. His grandfather was an ordnance officer in the Royal Navy and his father and great-uncle (who had died in the line of duty aboard HMS Clement) had served as well. Reed was 36 years old in the year 2151, when the crew of Enterprise celebrated his birthday. (ENT: "Silent Enemy")

Growing up, Reed was raised on the water. He knew how to handle a boat before he could ride a bicycle. He studied all the great naval battles, and like his ancestors before him, he wanted to serve aboard a seafaring vessel, but his aquaphobia, which he thought he might outgrow, rendered him unable to follow in the footsteps of his family. (ENT: "Silent Enemy", "Minefield")

Reed had one sister named Madeleine, an uncle named Archie, and at least two unmarried aunts. Reed had a rather distant relationship with his parents, who questioned if he was in "some kind of trouble" when contacted by Archer. He also found it hard to make close friendships, and he had several unsuccessful romantic relationships before joining the Enterprise. (ENT: "Silent Enemy", "Shuttlepod One", "Affliction")

As a child, Reed had always wanted to build a time machine to see the future. (ENT: "Future Tense")

Reed was an Eagle Scout, holding twenty-eight merit badges, including one in exobiology. (ENT: "Rogue Planet")

In the writers' second draft script of ENT: "Breaking the Ice", Reed remembered having once stood on an active volcano in Japan, which had melted his boot soles.

When asked about his favorite foods, his parents conveyed that Malcolm rarely expressed personal preferences, normally eating whatever food was put in front of him. (ENT: "Silent Enemy")

Reed was allergic to dust mites, oak pollen, tropical grasses, and plant enzymes, including bromelain. He took injections to treat his bromelain allergy. Pineapple, which contained bromelain, was one of his favorite foods. (ENT: "Silent Enemy")

Throughout life, Reed did not follow the sport of soccer, or football as it was known in England. In fact, he did not particularly follow any sports. (ENT: "Minefield")

In ultimately unused dialogue from the final draft script of "Minefield", Reed confessed, "I was never much of an athlete."

Starfleet career[]

Unable to follow his family's tradition, Reed decided to join Starfleet. (ENT: "Silent Enemy") Reed took a rather serious and traditional approach to his position as a Starfleet officer, finding it, for instance, rather improper to socialize with senior officers. When Captain Archer invited him to eat breakfast with him once, he felt rather awkward and uncomfortable, and as a result could not relax in the captain's presence. (ENT: "Minefield")

Around 2149, Reed, as a young ensign, was recruited into Section 31 through former Starfleet Security officer Harris. At the time, Reed was a fresh officer who was excited to be in "covert operations." However, he later left the organization, or so he thought, and initially having no further contact with Harris after 2151, until he was contacted again in 2154. (ENT: "Affliction")

Over the course of his career, Reed kept track of the number of planets he had stepped foot on, which had reached 32 with Mars in 2155. Other planets include Rigel X, Archer IV, Terra Nova, P'Jem, Coridan, a rogue planet, the Torothan homeworld, Risa, Tessic's colony, Gosis' homeworld, Xantoras, a Trellium mining planet, the Loque'eque homeworld, the Xanthan planet, a Xindi-Arboreal colony, the Skagaran colony, and Vulcan. (ENT: "Terra Prime")

If Malcolm included Earth and accurately excluded moons, than his count suggests he had set foot on 13 planets off-screen.


The first year[]

Reed was the senior armory officer aboard Enterprise. He helped complete the ship's first mission, which was intervening in a Suliban plot to cause civil war in the Klingon Empire. (ENT: "Broken Bow") His quarters aboard Enterprise were located on B Deck. (ENT: "Shockwave, Part II")

Reed was a master of adapting to difficult situations. In an early battle, during the mission an alien force attacked and attempted to capture the crew so they could drain them of their bodily fluids. After Enterprise's weapons failed to penetrate the enemy's shields, he cooperated with an Axanar cargo ship to drive off the enemy. (ENT: "Fight or Flight")

He was part of the landing party that landed on Terra Nova, a lost colony of Earth colonists who believed that Earth had poisoned their air. The Novans attacked the party and Reed was shot in the leg with a projectile weapon and held hostage in the underground caverns. He was released after Archer was able to reason with the Novans. (ENT: "Terra Nova")

He led a rescue team onto a planet housing the monastery at P'Jem when Archer was caught in a dispute between the Andorians and Vulcans. He and his team planted charges behind the wall of the atrium. When the walls collapsed, his team was able to rescue Archer, T'Pol, and Tucker. He also helped to expose P'Jem as a listening post of the Vulcan High Command. (ENT: "The Andorian Incident")

He and Travis Mayweather became two of the first Humans to walk on a comet. They were stranded, and the Vulcans saved them by the use of tractor beam technology. (ENT: "Breaking the Ice")

Later that year Enterprise was attacked by an unknown enemy. The weapons on Enterprise were not powerful enough to deter the enemy. Reed and Tucker led the team that built phase cannons so that the ship would be prepared in case of another attack. The weapons of Enterprise had no effect on the enemy, until Reed recreated a power surge and transferred it to the weapons. The blast disabled the enemy ship and it retreated. (ENT: "Silent Enemy")

He and Hoshi Sato boarded a disabled Klingon ship that was losing orbit and falling into a gas giant. The crew had been disabled by a toxin. They became trapped, and in order to push the ship to a higher orbit so they could be rescued, Reed fired the ship's torpedoes, which pushed the vessel into higher orbit. (ENT: "Sleeping Dogs")

He and Tucker attempted to rescue Archer from Coridanite rebels. They were captured by the Andorians, who had become involved in the civil war. Shran set Reed and Tucker free, and helped in the rescue effort. (ENT: "Shadows of P'Jem")

When Enterprise came upon a Kantare settlement on a planet after crash landing, Reed discovered that there was no way the settlement could survive with so many people. It was discovered that the settlement was a hologram, as were all the people except for two. (ENT: "Oasis")

Trip and Reed in Shuttlepod 1

Reed and Tucker struggling to survive aboard Shuttlepod 1 in 2151

Reed and Tucker, while on a shuttlepod mission, were cut off from Enterprise and, seeing debris, believed that the ship had been destroyed. As they lost life support, they were contacted by Enterprise. They were not aware that the shuttle was damaged, but Reed and Tucker jettisoned their impulse drive and imploded it as a signal to Enterprise. With air running out, Tucker decided to leave the shuttle and seal himself in the airlock, so Reed could survive. Reed argued him down and even pointed a phase-pistol at him, though it was set to stun. Reed would have both of them dead than one. They were rescued. (ENT: "Shuttlepod One")

Reed, in the disguise of a Suliban infiltrated a Tandaran concentration camp where Archer was being held along with innocent Suliban. Detonating explosives, Reed knocked out the guards, while creating a way to freedom. He helped disarm the commander Grat and released Archer and the other prisoners. (ENT: "Detained")

Archer, Tucker, and three others were captured by a symbiotic being that was trying to integrate them into one being so it could survive. Reed and his security team fired EM radiation at the creature. The organism writhes in pain, but when the bio-signs of the trapped crewmembers become erratic, Dr. Phlox orders Reed to stop firing. The organism was absorbing the crewmembers' nervous systems into its own. Reed installed an experimental EM force field to limit its growth. Once Hoshi Sato communicated with the creature and found that it only wanted to go home it released Archer, Tucker, and the other three crewmembers. T'Pol, Sato, Reed and Phlox take it to the planet's surface. During a vacation on Risa, Reed and Tucker made dates with two exotic females. The females turned out to be morphs who robbed the two and left them half-naked, tied up in a cellar. (ENT: "Vox Sola", "Two Days and Two Nights")

The second year[]

Silik and the Cabal took over Enterprise after Archer was transported to the future by Daniels, a temporal agent. Reed used a piece of equipment that Daniels had left behind in a previous visit to help Archer return to his timeline, and retook the ship. (ENT: "Shockwave, Part II")

Romulan mine traps Reed

Reed is impaled by a Romulan mine

In 2152 Enterprise became trapped in a Romulan minefield. When one of the mines attached to Enterprise, Reed went out in an EV suit to try to disarm it. During an attack by the Romulans, the mine was jostled and a metal spike from the mine pinned Reed's leg to the hull. Archer went out to help Reed, who talked Archer through the disarming of the mine. Reed was rescued when Archer used a torch to cut him free, despite Reed attempting to commit suicide with the intent of compelling Archer to leave him behind. During a stop at an automated repair station, Reed's leg was healed by the station. Reed participated in covert exploration of the station at the urging of Tucker. The station was discovered to be a parasitic cyborg harnessing humanoid brains for use in its computer core. (ENT: "Minefield", "Dead Stop")

Reed also helped a mining colony defend itself from Klingons who were stealing their deuterium. He taught them self-defense and target practice. He almost was executed by a pre-warp society that he and Archer visited. Reed left his communicator and when they went back to retrieve it, they were captured. The general who captured them believed they were super soldiers developed by his enemies. They were ordered to be executed, but saved by Enterprise. (ENT: "Marauders", "The Communicator")

After Enterprise gave asylum to Takret men fleeing the military, everyone had to take refuge in the catwalk to escape a deadly radiation storm. The Takret military boarded the ship to capture the refugees. Thinking the ship is empty, they tried to restart the warp engines which were shut down during the storm. This endangered the ship and crew and Reed left the catwalk, shut down the engines and saved the ship. (ENT: "The Catwalk")

Reed discovered that a ship found by Enterprise was from the future and could hold the key to the Temporal Cold War. He also led a rescue party to free Archer from a penal ship. (ENT: "Future Tense", "Canamar")

Reed's personal emphasis on starship protocol caused him to notice the inefficiency of Enterprise's crew when reacting to combat situations. This prompted him to devise a state of Tactical alert, which he saw as a means of improving readiness. Captain Archer approved of his idea, only mandating he find a less annoying alert signal to replace the grating klaxon, and it was quickly implemented. (ENT: "Singularity")

Enterprise encountered a large vessel unlike any the crew has seen before. Reed along with Archer and Tucker take a shuttlepod into the ship for exploration. An alien wisp takes over Tucker's body and informed Archer that that it wants to peacefully explore Humanity. Reed is overtaken and attempted to mate with T'Pol. Phlox was able to rid Reed and the rest of the crew from the aliens who really wished to keep their Human bodies. (ENT: "The Crossing")

In the latter part of the year, he encountered the Borg, although he did not know what species they were. While pursuing the Borg, Reed and Archer boarded the transport and fought off these lifeforms, attaching several charges to the ship's EPS manifold, then transporting back to Enterprise. The resulting explosion crippled the transport, which was then destroyed by a few torpedoes. (ENT: "Regeneration")

He met a Vissian who used a Cogenitor to get pregnant. He also helped rescue Archer from bounty hunters. (ENT: "Cogenitor", "Bounty")

The third year: the Xindi mission[]

In the early days of the mission to stop the Xindi from destroying Earth, Reed accompanied Archer to a mining planet to interrogate a Xindi. They were imprisoned by the foreman of the miners who intended to use them as slave labor. They rescued the Xindi, but he was killed in the escape attempt. He managed to give Enterprise the coordinates of the planet before he died. (ENT: "The Xindi")

Reed was part of an away team that boarded a stranded Vulcan ship in the Expanse. The crew had gone mad and tried to kill the team. After escaping, the ship was destroyed by Enterprise. (ENT: "Impulse")

He was a part of an away mission on a planet whose population was extinct. However, the Loque'eque had left behind a virus that would change other humanoids into their species. Reed became one of them, but was cured by Phlox. (ENT: "Extinction")

Reed subsequently met with a merchant, B'Rat Ud, who could sell him trellium-D, a substance that could protect the ship from spatial anomalies which were a common feature in the Delphic Expanse. During this visit to the Xanthan planet, he helped Archer rescue Rajiin, a woman who was being sold by a slave trader. She turned out to be an agent of the Xindi. (ENT: "Rajiin")

In a scene which was included in the final draft script of "Rajiin" but not in the final edit of the episode, Reed led Tucker to B'Rat Ud's shop, deliberately avoiding the slave market.

Much like the rest of the crew, Reed's nerves were on edge during the hunt for the Xindi. One night he heard some clicking noises in his quarters and, for a moment, thought he was seeing a Xindi-Insectoid in the shadows. (ENT: "Exile")

He, Major Hayes, and Archer infiltrated a Xindi industrial facility to examine what the Xindi weapon would be powered by. They tried to persuade the Xindi-Arboreal that Earth was no threat to them. The Xindi gave them a canister of the power source. (ENT: "The Shipment")

Malcolm Reed, 2165

Reed in 2165 of an alternate timeline

In the alternate timeline where Earth was destroyed, Reed grew a goatee. In 2165 he was promoted to captain of Intrepid, but died in a Xindi attack before he could assume command. (ENT: "Twilight")

Reed and the MACOs retook Enterprise after it was hijacked by religious zealots who wanted to use it against another religious faction. (ENT: "Chosen Realm")

During the mission to find the Xindi weapon, Reed was unhappy with the assignment of Major Hayes and his team of MACOs to Enterprise. He felt that Hayes was trying to subvert his authority in an attempt take over security on the ship. This caused Reed to react poorly when Hayes suggested a series of training sessions for the senior officers with his team. A "training session" between Hayes and Reed ended up as little more than a fist fight, and both were chastised by Captain Archer. This had the effect of clearing the air between them, so much so that Hayes told Reed that he and his people no longer felt like outsiders. (ENT: "The Xindi", "Harbinger", "Countdown")

Though Reed was fortunate enough to escape injury in the Xindi attack in the Azati Prime system, two days later he suffered from severe exposure to heat when helping Commander Tucker close down a leaking plasma conduit that was creating a huge plasma fire. Fortunately, he recovered quickly. (ENT: "The Forgotten")

Reed helped stage a mutiny to take the ship from Archer, who had been affected by an Insectoid toxin and was endangering the mission. (ENT: "Hatchery")

In a different timeline where a subspace corridor stranded Enterprise in 2037, Reed was the only senior officer to die unmarried, a fact which left him slightly distressed. (ENT: "")

During the final days of the mission, he led a team that boarded a sphere in order to get information about the Sphere-Builders, the aliens who were behind the plot to destroy Earth. During this action one of the MACOs, F. Hawkins, was killed by the sphere's defenses. This had a profound effect on Reed. After Major Hayes was killed in the attempt to rescue Hoshi Sato, Reed took over the MACOs. He led them on the final mission aboard the weapon and helped to successfully destroy it. (ENT: "The Council", "Countdown", "Zero Hour")

The fourth year[]

Reed aided in restoring the timeline after aliens tried to change it by aiding the Nazis in conquering America. He also defended Phlox in a bar fight against a group of xenophobic Humans. (ENT: "Storm Front", "Home")

During the Augment incident he, along with Archer, tried to retake Cold Station 12 where Augment embryos were stored. He was also part of a rescue team along with Mayweather when they attempted to rescue T'Pol and Archer from the The Forge before the Vulcan High Command attacked the religious sect hiding there. (ENT: "Cold Station 12", "Awakening")

Malcolm and Travis play chess

Controlled by Organians, Reed and Mayweather play chess

Along with Mayweather, his body was taken over by an Organian observer who wished to experience Human customs and ways. While teaching the inhabited Mayweather how to play chess, he revealed he was the ship's champion. (ENT: "Observer Effect")

In an ultimately omitted scene from the final draft script of "The Council", Reed admitted to hating chess.

When the Romulans sent a ship with "chameleon"-like capabilities to further destabilize Andorian and Tellarite relations by attacking their ships, Reed and Tucker boarded it and became stranded when Enterprise's transporter went off line. Their oxygen supply was running low but they continued to investigate and were shocked when they found no one on the alien ship. It was a remotely-controlled drone ship.

Malcolm Reed and Shran

Reed with Shran on the bridge of Enterprise

They began to sabotage the drone ship as it engaged in a fire fight with Enterprise. After damaging the ship, Reed and Tucker ejected themselves out into space where Enterprise transported them back to the ship. (ENT: "Babel One", "United")

Reed had not had contact from Section 31 since he joined the crew of Enterprise. This affected his loyalties during a crisis involving the Klingon Empire. The Klingons had attempted to develop their own Augments using DNA from their contact with Malik and the other augments developed by Arik Soong. The Human DNA caused a virus that threatened to wipe out the Klingons. Reed was contacted by Harris, an agent of Section 31, who had a job for him. At first he refused, but was told if he did not cooperate, Phlox, who was kidnapped by the Klingons, would die. He covered up the fact that the Rigelian ship that kidnapped Phlox was destroyed by Klingons. When Archer found out Reed lied to him, he was relieved of duty and put in the brig.

After Augment Klingons sabotaged Enterprise, Reed was released and helped Tucker repair the ship. Archer found out about Reed's involvement with Harris and demanded answers. Harris contacted him and told him that Section 31 shut down a security grid on Earth that allowed Phlox to be kidnapped. They believed that if Phlox did not find a cure, the Klingons would react with all-out war, which would have grave implications for many worlds. Reed felt his loyalties were with Archer and he informed Archer the location of the base where Phlox was held. Phlox did cure the virus and Reed, along with Archer, rescued him. Reed contacted Harris once more and told him never to contact him again. (ENT: "Affliction", "Divergence")

Reed contacted agent Harris to acquire information about the terrorist group Terra Prime – despite his previous attempt to withdraw from Section 31, Archer, now that he knew of Reed's involvement, decided to use that connection to get better answers than those he had received from Earth political figures. In a rescue attempt to free Tucker and T'Pol from the group on Mars, his shuttle was sabotaged and he had to return to Enterprise. (ENT: "Terra Prime", "Demons")

Later years[]

Malcolm Reed, 2161

A holographic representation of Malcolm Reed in 2161

Reed was still serving aboard Enterprise with the rank of lieutenant when the ship was decommissioned in 2161. He participated in the crew's final mission to rescue Shran's daughter, Talla, from alien kidnappers on Rigel X. Although the mission was a success, his friend and crewmate, Trip Tucker, sacrificed himself shortly thereafter in order to save Captain Archer. Afterward, Reed was in attendance at the founding ceremony for the United Federation of Planets. Prior to Archer's speech, Reed conveyed his desire to continue working with Captain Archer on the latter's next assignment, believing Archer was not yet ready for the Admiralty. (ENT: "These Are the Voyages...")

Personal interests[]

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Technical advances[]

Reed was frustrated that Enterprise left space dock before all the ship's planned weaponry was installed and tested.

Reed has had to improvise against hostile aliens with superior weaponry many times. The Enterprise crew was nearly captured to be drained of their fluids after the ship's torpedoes failed to penetrate an enemy ship's defenses. It took cooperation between Reed and an Axanar captain to destroy their common foe. Reed would lead his team in building phase cannons from scratch while in mid-space, after being attacked by an unknown race. The weapons that Enterprise had did not affect the alien ship. While the first deployment of the phase cannons was less perfect, they were successful in warding off the aliens by disabling their shielding which allowed Reed to fire two spatial torpedoes, blowing a hole in the ship. Even then he showed ingenuity, by overloading the phase cannons to boost their power.

Malcolm Reed is the man the crew turns to for weapons training and target practice. It was Reed who presented Captain Archer with the crew's new hand weapons called phase-pistols, and training the crew in their use.

Although Reed was initially skeptical about using the newly approved bio-transport platform, he has used the transporter probably more than anyone on the crew because of its tactical advantage. When Archer and other crew members were taken hostage in their first encounter with Andorians at the Vulcan sanctuary P'Jem, Reed led a munitions team to the surface via the transporter, to mount a rescue attempt which he accomplished.

He has made technological strides in other ways, such as perfecting a stable EM barrier, also known as a force field. When a strange, growing organism invaded Enterprise and tried to absorb several crew members, Reed needed a way to stop the creature from spreading and capturing more people. He used a prototype based on specs in the database and found a way to control the particle density, something which hadn't been accomplished before. (ENT: "Vox Sola")

Another accomplishment was a "tactical alert" that saved Enterprise at a crucial moment. Because of this, Archer recommended that the alert and accompanying protocols be made standard procedure. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Fight or Flight", "The Andorian Incident", "Vox Sola", "Singularity")

He had also boosted the phase-pistol and phase rifle power to 10 megajoules when Enterprise was being attacked by cybernetic lifeforms. (ENT: "Regeneration")

Personal relationships[]

Reed mostly kept to himself aboard Enterprise and generally appeared a private person who had a hard time opening up to people. He was not very close to his parents and found it difficult to make close friendships. His closest friend at Starfleet Academy, Mark Latrelle, knew very little about Reed. He came to view the crew of Enterprise as his family. (ENT: "Silent Enemy", "Shuttlepod One")


Charles "Trip" Tucker[]

Tucker and Reed beamed to bridge

Reed, with Tucker, after being beamed to the bridge of Enterprise by the automated repair station

Reed and Tucker were initially at odds and were quite diametrically different in personality; while Reed was reserved and private, Tucker was energetic and personable. When trapped on Shuttlepod 1, the two had heated arguments very frequently. However, their near-death experience helped them bond, to the point where Reed considered Tucker his friend by the end of the ordeal. (ENT: "Shuttlepod One")

Three months later, the two men shared their shore leave together on Risa where they visited several bars hoping to meet women. (ENT: "Two Days and Two Nights") When Tucker's sister Elizabeth was killed and his hometown destroyed during the Xindi attack on Earth, Reed offered his condolences to Tucker. (ENT: "The Expanse")

While sharing Vulcan neuropressure sessions with Corporal Cole, Tucker remarked of Reed: "Malcolm can be a tough man to get to know, I'll grant you that. He likes to keep to himself. But, spend enough time around him, you come to realize there's no-one you'd rather have watching your back". (ENT: "Harbinger")

The series bible for Star Trek: Enterprise included some information about Reed's relationship with Tucker, who Reed was described as being "the antithesis of." The document elaborated, "The two men are frequently at odds […] There just isn't enough deck space for both men." Indeed, a subject of contention between them was that Reed, in a quest to increase his inventory of weapons, kept storing ammunition, such as photon grenades, in areas of the ship that were designated to engineering, for example in the Jefferies tubes.


Prior to the launch of Enterprise Reed had a relationship with Ruby, a waitress at the 602 Club on Earth, and a number of other women, among them former girlfriends named Deborah, Rochelle, and Caitlin. However, all those relationships ended because Reed was never able to get close to any of the women. (ENT: "Shuttlepod One")

Reed never became particularly close to anyone while on board Enterprise. When, in 2154, the Enterprise encountered a future version of itself, Reed discovered that throughout his tenure aboard the ship, he remained single, prompting him to begin questioning his attitude towards his life. (ENT: "")

Reed also had feelings for T'Pol, telling Tucker he found her attractive. He also dreamed that after he was rescued from a shuttlepod, that T'Pol then made advances toward him. When he was taken over by an alien wisp, the alien in control of his body tried to mate with T'Pol. (ENT: "Shuttlepod One", "Two Days and Two Nights", "The Crossing")

When Enterprise encountered the Vissians, Reed and the Vissian ship's tactical officer Veylo express interest in one another. (ENT: "Cogenitor")

T'Pol knew of Reed's feelings towards her, as when she prematurely started her pon farr; she cornered him and asked when the last time he had sex, and said that she had seen the way he looked at her. Reed did not respond in kind. (ENT: "Bounty")

For context, it is worth noting that Keating intentionally played him as gay; he has stated so more than once. [1] [2](X)

Memorable quotes[]

"…we're still off by .02 %. It's unacceptable." (ENT: "Fight or Flight")

"Us? Not interesting?" (ENT: "Silent Enemy")

"Sometimes I think you North Americans read nothing but comics. And these ridiculous science fiction novels." (ENT: "Shuttlepod One")

"If only Dr. Cochrane had been a European, the Vulcans would've been far less reticent to help us." (ENT: "Shuttlepod One")

"An officer at his best is always well groomed." (ENT: "Shuttlepod One")

"What's more important – my leg or your ship?" (ENT: "Minefield")

"Deception and surprise can be just as potent as brute force." (ENT: "Marauders")

"I'm afraid I haven't started following [a sport] since breakfast." (ENT: "Minefield")

"Reed alert. Not bad." (ENT: "Singularity")

"It's a chair…" (ENT: "Singularity")



Background information[]

Malcolm Reed was played by actor Dominic Keating.

Originally, Reed's rank was supposed to have been lieutenant commander, but it was changed to lieutenant before the pilot aired. [3] The character of Reed was invented by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, who imagined him as a multifaceted Brit. "We wanted our armory officer to be a character who was rather shy and staid," Berman commented. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 26)

In the series bible for Star Trek: Enterprise, Reed was characterized thus: "British, male, late twenties. Armory Officer. In the new age of Humanity's enlightenment, Reed is a bit of a throwback. He's a 22nd century 'soldier,' all spit and polish and by-the-book. His hair is cut razor-short. He maintains a rigorous daily schedule; when he isn't on duty, he's working out on a futuristic exercise apparatus he keeps in his quarters, or toiling in the munitions lab, perfecting some new kind of torpedo […] Reed is always trying to expand his weapons inventory, storing ammunition in parts of the ship designated to Engineering […] Reed is filled with contradictions. Despite his near-obsession with regulations and munitions, he's also soft spoken, shy, and awkward around women. When testing a new photon weapon, he's liable to put on a pair of space age ear-plugs because he doesn't like loud noises."

In a character breakdown sheet sent from Paramount to talent agents upon seeking an actor to play Reed, the character was described thus: "Armory Officer. British. Late 20s – early 30s. In the new age of Humanity's enlightenment, Reed is a bit of a throwback. He's a 22rd Century 'soldier', all spit and polish and by-the-book. Reed is filled with contradictions. Despite his near-obsession with munitions, he's soft-spoken, shy and awkward around women. When testing a new weapon, he's liable to put on a pair of space-age earplugs because he doesn't like loud noises." [4] Dominic Keating later recalled, "Reed was described in the breakdown as 'buttoned-down wry, dry, and shy around women.'" (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 26)

When Reed was introduced in the script of the Enterprise pilot episode "Broken Bow" (in both the second draft and revised final draft of the script), he was described thus; "Reed is a buttoned-up Englishman in his 30's." [5] Rick Berman noted about the part, "There was just something about it that screamed out for an English actor." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 26)

When Dominic Keating auditioned for a role in Star Trek: Voyager, Rick Berman suspected he had found the right actor to play Malcolm Reed. Berman and Brannon Braga were meanwhile in the very early stages of development on the script for "Broken Bow". Though Reed wasn't cast for VOY, Berman felt sure Keating was ideal to portray Reed, so Berman put the actor's photograph and resume on his desk. ("Broken Bow" audio commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD/Blu-ray) The photo remained on Berman's desk for longer than a year. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 26) "I said to Brannon, 'I saw […] the guy to play Malcolm Reed,'" Berman continued. "And he came in; he was the first person who came in to read for us when it was time to cast the role of Reed, and he was perfect for it." ("Broken Bow" audio commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD/Blu-ray) Keating initially had other ideas, though, with some objections to how Reed was described in the character breakdown sheet, such as the references to him being "soft-spoken, shy and awkward around women." "I thought, 'I'm so not like that!'" the actor exclaimed. The part nonetheless went to Keating. "When they'd given me the role," he reflected, "I sat with Brannon and Rick and said, 'I'm thrilled to get the job; I'm really happy – just please don't make him the English guy on Star Trek! Brannon said, 'What, you don't want us to write things like 'My dear old mum?!''" (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 26)

Shortly after the start of ENT Season 1, Brannon Braga postulated that the character of Reed might become more appealing to write stories for during the course of the season, Braga speculating, "By the end of the season, we could discover that Reed is really jumping off the page. It's hard to say." (Broken Bow, paperback ed., p. 253) Dominic Keating felt there was "plenty of time for us to look at Reed down the line." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 26) Later in the first season, Braga observed about Reed, "He's had some great stuff to do in terms of action. But we're only now at this point starting to dig a little deeper, and I'm not sure exactly where we're going to take him." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 9, p. 22)

Upon originating the role of Lieutenant Reed, Dominic Keating tried to see more similarities between the character and his own personality. For example, he admitted that, like Reed, he himself could occasionally be shy around women. Keating believed another likeness between them was that he, at the age of seventeen, planned to leave school and join the army. "That's who Reed is," Keating remarked. "He's slightly naive going into space; he's exactly as I was. The more I look at him, the more I see that I can actually be him." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 26)

When asked, Dominic Keating did not specify where Lieutenant Reed's quarters on Enterprise were, but in "Shockwave, Part II", it is implied that Reed's quarters were on B Deck. Keating also stated, when asked about Reed's romantic life, that "God knows I played him gay!" but it is rather difficult to tell if he was serious or joking. [6]

An interview with Keating from 2013 confirms the speculation about Reed's orientation: "I played him so gay ... I mean, it was always rumored that Malcolm was gay, wasn't it?" he says. "It was that one line of his three-line bio, 'Shy around women,' that just shockwaved across the gay community." He includes some remarks on the showrunners' reluctance to portray a gay character on screen. "I don't want to say it was dry and they didn't want to take any risks, but there was an element of that." [7](X)

In "Singularity", the producers hinted that the familiar "red alert" often used in the rest of Star Trek likely is a further development of Reed's idea of introducing a "tactical alert", for which Trip Tucker initially suggested the name "Reed alert".

The Suliban costume Keating wore as Reed in "Detained" was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [8]


In 2003, Mark Jones and Lance Parkin, writers of the review reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (pp. 363 & 365), commented therein that, in episodes such as "Silent Enemy" and "Shuttlepod One", the depiction of Reed made them feel as though the ENT writing staff were "desperately trying to figure out Reed."


In the novel Last Full Measure, a flashback reveals that Reed's aquaphobia was caused by a traumatic experience with a school bully when the bully nearly drowned Reed in a school fountain, with Reed briefly attempting to take revenge before the look in the bully's eyes forced him to realize that he had sunk to the bully's level.

In the novel A Choice of Futures, following the Romulan War, Reed serves as T'Pol's first officer on the USS Endeavour before being promoted to captain of the USS Pioneer, during which he also worked with Doctor Tobin Dax to carry out various modifications to the ship.

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